Lisa entitled this picture "Another day at the office; negotiating a new course date for Xxx", and entitled the picture "Business as Usual".
It was taken yesterday ... in Cascais, Portugal, where we were on an excursion to see some of the areas around Lisbon ... and it's an area I would very much like to get back to sometime.
Everyone needs a bit of a break occasioanlly, and we're no different - but never the less, there are certain things - family and business (and I'm not putting those in any particular order) which can't be totally stopped. We're fortunate - VERY fortunate - to have an excellent team back at Well House Manor who have been admirably handling things, but sorting out course content is something that still falls on my shoulders and I will - gladly - deal with it from whereever I am.
Over the recent past, I have also been doing a great deal of voluntary / community work in what is laughingly called my "spare time". I've felt that it's useful to give a little beyond my narrow work and personal position, and indeed I've seen elements of encouragement to do so. But - looking around, I see few others doing the same thing - certainly few others who also have other full time jobs, and I have to wonder if I am out of step, or everyone else is. I'm missing an Area Board meeting because it's timed to suit the retired (I'm stil unsure why they can't make it one evening). I'm criticised for being unable to attend a meeting for something I do in a voluntary capacity during the daytime / weekday in Trowbridge (as the person who required my attendance works Monday to Friday, 9 to 5). And I'm slagged off for insufficient information being available on some subjects. But why should
I be the one who provides so many of the safetly netx - perhaps I've accepted too many responsibiities, and done the projects that I've been supporting a dis-service. Perhaps I should leave core strategy planning, campuses, rail, car parking and more to the retired and to the paid officials ... with a little voluntary representation, perhaps limited to the occasional meeting?
I'm very conscious that we've been busy, taking bookings, and answering enquiries even these two weeks. I'm also conscious that I'm straight into other committments the day after I get back and have voluntary emails marked "dont worry about this until your return" with festering issues which - sorry - do worry me. Perhaps I would be doing everyone else a serice to step back and let them get on with it, rather than trying too hard.
My example here is, I suspect,a microcosm of what many people feel ... and why voluntary groups and activities are so heavily lead by the retired, perhaps at a time when they're easing down and no longer at the most energetic or effective. (written 2011-07-14)
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articlesZ301 - Current Affairs 
Melksham ATC - freedom of the town - (2012-05-05) 
Exploring Melksham with a film maker - (2012-03-09) 
Charities v Charitable. The cost of collecting your donation. - (2011-10-06) 
Do university courses teach the right things for life at work later on? - (2011-08-10) 
The Anthony trial - Orange County, Florida. Thoughts on conclusion - (2011-07-06) 
The future of canal management and charities - Kennet and Avon Canal bias - (2011-05-08) 
Alternative Vote (AV) - cutting the crap - (2011-04-25) 
Footpath, Bridleway, Byway, Road used as Public Path - (2011-04-04) 
What can you take on a public footpath? Pram? Wheelbarrow? Dog? Shopping Trolley? Horse? Cycle? - (2011-04-03) 
Redevelopment on the banks of the Avon in Melksham - (2011-02-25) 
Car Parking in Melksham - thoughts on the proposed scheme, and wider thoughts too - (2011-01-09) 
Liquorice allsorts and Dolly Mixtures - (2010-11-05) 
VAT rise in January - it is really up 14% not just 2.5% - (2010-11-03) 
A river in Melksham is not just for boaters. - (2010-10-11) 
Travel, Transport and Tourism - A vision for Melksham, 2026 - (2010-10-03) 
Melksham Area Board meeting of last week - (2010-08-04) 
Atworth Village Fete - on the Melksham Community Area Partnership stand - (2010-07-04) 
Regional Spatial Strategy and the next 20 years - Whence Wiltshire under the new government? - (2010-05-22) 
Random thoughts on Melksham Town Planning and development - (2010-03-08) 
East of Melksham - Building Work Starts - (2010-01-28) 
Summary of Wiltshire Core Strategy responses - (2010-01-13) 
The road show has been - where now? - (2009-11-27) 
Community Area Partnership - inaugural AGM - (2009-11-20) 
pre-Inaugural briefing - Melksham Community Area Partnership - (2009-07-15) 
Wiltshire - where everybody matters - (2009-04-13) 
Whatever next ... the joys of being an employer - (2009-04-01) 
One Cheer for Local Democracy - Asda in Melksham - (2009-01-11) 
Christmas Survivors - (2008-12-25) 
Incident in Melksham - (2007-07-24) 
New Serieses for the summer on TV - (2007-06-02) 
News in Ireland - (2006-02-20) 
A Strengthened City - (2005-07-14) 
10 Years of experience - (2004-08-30)
Some other Articles
Blowing our own trumpet - MySQL resourcesMelksham Carnival, 2011 - picturesCash and Cheque policy - UK HotelUpcoming Programming courses ... High Summer, 2011Business, priorities, and volunteeringHoliday patterns - just the art, not the contentFamily PicturesSales and Marketing - adding advertising to the productOff the beaten track - non-quite-so-tourist spotsWorld Trade Register - Certainly NOT worth 2985 Euros.